Arsene Wenger, arguably Arsenal’s greatest ever manager, was not called ‘Le Professor’ for no reason. His way of life, both on and off the pitch, his way of coaching football, with a daily set of routine for the players and Wenger himself never missing a single training session, unlike many managers of his time and now, contributed equally towards him being labelled as The Professor among his players and peers alike. And Thierry Henry could follow soon.
So it is natural that this professor would have many students among the players he coached who would go onto take up coaching or managing as a career after their playing days were over.
In recent times, we have seen many such players.
Patrick Vieira started his managing career with Manchester City U23 team, in the year 2013. His first major managing assignment came with New York City FC, sister club of Manchester City, in the year 2016. Currently, he is managing OGC Nice, in his native country France, succeeding Lucien Favre, who joined Borussia Dortmund.
Mikel Arteta is currently appointed as the assistant manager to Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.
And Henry began preparing for his managerial career by becoming the assistant manager of Belgium national team in 2016, under Roberto Martinez. But now, it seems that Henry is ready for the next level in his managing career, to manage a club on his own, and this was confirmed by none other than his ex-Arsenal manager, Wenger himself.
Arsene Wenger backs Thierry Henry for Bordeauxhttps://t.co/TD0ohRzJl2
— Goal (@goal) August 20, 2018
According to an interview with Corse Matin, the Frenchman confirmed the various reports emerging of his former colleague willing to manage Girondins de Bordeaux, who just bid adieu to their newly appointed manager Gus Poyet after a misunderstanding between the club and the manager regarding the transfer of one of his striker.
The former Monaco boss said, answering the question if the prospect Arsenal legend managing the Ligue 1 club would be a good idea:
“Yes, he (Henry) wants to do it. He is intelligent and he has the qualities.
“The existential question that we always ask ourselves is whether we are ready to sacrifice our life for the coaching profession.”
Bordeaux had sacked their Poyet after he labeled the French side a “disgrace” since the former Brighton manager was unhappy after one of his strikers, Gaetan Laborde, was sold to league rivals Montpellier without his knowledge. The Uruguayan manager said that he no longer had “the desire to continue” at the club.
His exceptional rant in full, that led to his sacking as Bordeaux manager [via the Guardian]:
WOW – Bordeaux dismiss Gus Poyet after last night's extraordinary rant about the club's management – dismissed after a 10 mintue meeting this morning https://t.co/ieCSAmJNbh
— Mohammed Ali (@mohammedali_93) August 17, 2018
“What happened today with Gaëtan Laborde is a disgrace. I said don’t sell until we have a replacement, the board didn’t listen.
“This is the worst day I’ve had at this club. I am going to speak to my agent tomorrow & I don’t know if I will quit.
“I don’t give a f*** about Bordeaux representatives who try & kill me from behind to make me leave.”
The former French international had a very big hand in Belgium reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, losing out to eventual winners France. Belgium finished third, beating England in the third-place match.
Henry has had a big role in helping Martinez shape the Belgium team as his own. Being a forward himself, he has specifically helped Romelu Lukaku to perform consistently well by sharing his experience, knowledge, and expertise.
In my opinion, this will be a very good opportunity for the ex-Gunner to begin his managerial career, at a humble club, with lesser pressure as compared to starting his managerial career at a bigger club, and a club which plays in the top tier league of France.
Who knows, this could prove to be a major game changer for Henry in his managing career, and prove to be a vital stepping stone for him to manage his dearest club, Arsenal and sit in the chair of his professor at the Emirates one day.